I’d been waiting for this for a week or more, ever since I saw Steve had stopped posting on social media and was in hospice care after a long and hard-fought illness. Steve was a colleague, more than a friend, and someone, honestly, I’d had conflict with at one point,( for reasons that make no sense now, but had to do with standing my ground back then), but he was also someone I incredibly liked and respected, and was, honestly, influenced by–who could not appreciate the amazing work he did educating journalism students–and journalists–about social media, listening to your community, and crowd-sourcing news and individual voices?
I am so sad he is gone, at this early age, and admire the grace and pragmatism he exhibited.
Steve was both a strategist and a visionary about the evolving future of news. He led change from within at the fairly old school American Press Institute, in 2005, when I was also very involved in future of news work, and wrote an early, and spot-on–piece about community connections, an area traditional news orgs had huge trouble wrapping their heads around(this was the era of newspaper journalists telling people what they should think, in many cases).
He did brilliant work educating journalists in how to shift their thinking, and moving to a digital-first, future of news approach. I know what a great job Steve was doing because of the high number of promising young journalists he nurtured and taught, many going on to become leaders in the industry.
His obit, fittingly, is on his blog, along with information about the large, loving family that survives him, the scholarship fund in his memory, and his many, well-deserved honors. Steve, here’s to a life of love and accomplishment, inspring and well-lived. Thank you for your heart and your service.